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For the Good of the Country…

Posted on Thursday, August 8th, 2019

Dave!Like everybody else I have opinions.

Unlike everybody else, my opinions seem to get me into trouble entirely too often. Which is why I should probably just keep my big mouth shut. Problem is, I can't seem to do that.

And there's nothing like political opinions to bring on the rage and hatred.

I get it from both sides because I am not a fan of Republicans or Democrats.

Right now I'm much harder on Republicans because they unleashed this idiotic piece of shit president on us and that's always good from some Right-Wing-based anger. But my criticism of some of President Obama's stupider moves always guaranteed copious amounts of Left-Wing-based anger, so what can you do? Since keeping my big mouth shut doesn't seem to be an option, I guess I'll just have to bathe in the hate. Like my hero Emperor Palpatine from the Star Wars movies*...

Deranged Emperor Palpatine looking particularly evil.

One topic that never fails to incite hate from all corners of the internet is talking about gun violence. Regardless of where you stand, somebody will hate your opinion. This is perfectly understandable given how lots of people are dying because of them. Gun violence is a persistent threat to every American, and temperatures are bound to be running hot when you debate how to solve such a problem in a country where gun ownership is at our foundation.

And every time there's another mass-shooting (which, let's face it, is all the time now) a blog post I wrote two years ago titled Second Amendments and Horse Shit starts getting clicks.

And an awful lot of hate.

Eventually I had to turn off comments on the post because it seemed like all the non-regular-readers didn't have anything constructive to add to the conversation (something I'm always in favor of)... they just wanted a place to unload their hate.

  • People against gun ownership of any kind hate that I support the Second Amendment at all, even though I painfully lay out why it really doesn't matter if I do or I don't thanks to impending technology advances.
  • People for gun ownership of any kind hate that I would place restrictions on the Second Amendment, even though I detail why it's a stop-gap measure that's critical to keeping gun ownership viable.
  • People who want to put all the blame for gun violence on mental illness hate that I am advocating for the mentally ill or could possibly suggest there could be reasons other than mental illness for mass-shootings.
  • People who advocate for the mentally ill hate that I "blame mental illness for gun violence" which, while not entirely accurate, is my fault for expressing myself poorly (see below).
  • People who detest the NRA hate that I dare to say anything good about the organization, even though I clearly state that the only things I ever liked about them is what they used to be.
  • People who love the NRA hate that I dare attack them for being a bunch of psychopaths who have abandoned their mission of safe gun ownership in lieu of radicalizing this country to a highly dangerous degree at the behest of the gun manufacturer payola.
  • People who fear technology hate that I am advocating for investment in technology to help save us from gun violence when this will just result in technology enslaving all mankind.
  • People who embrace technology hate that I am "spreading fear about technology."
  • And then there's the general hatred which gets directed at anything and everything you can imagine... from me wanting higher taxes (huh?!?) and daring to say that Ronald Reagan favored restrictions on gun ownership (he absolutely did)... to my "attitude" and using the word "cock" multiple times. You name it, I'm catching hate over it.

What's weird about all this? Back when I wrote that entry I worked hard not to appear biased, and tried to find talking points everybody can agree on. That was likely a mistake, because too much of it can be taken in different ways depending on the biases of the person reading it.

If I were writing the same post today, I wouldn't bother trying to be so careful. I would totally call out President Trump as a racist white supremacist asshole who is constantly inciting violence against immigrants, and must be at least partly to blame when these violent white supremacists keep mentioning him as inspiration when they commit these heinous acts of gun violence. I'd likely also talk about how ironic it is that we are losing so badly to white supremacy when this country fought a fucking world war to end the Nazis. And I'd definitely mention exactly how stupid it is to blame video games for mass-shootings when countries like Japan and South Korea play video games at a far higher rate than we do, but they don't have a violence problem like we do.

I'd also choose a different approach in discussing mental illness as it pertains to gun violence. A part of my thinking was that somebody who picks up a gun and tries to kill a massive number of people must have mental issues. But that's a pretty shallow armchair analysis. During times of war soldiers are convinced they need to pick up a gun and kill a bunch of people, so what about that? I'd argue that killing civilians when you're not at war is a distinction that's hard to miss. But when you've got The Commander in Chief of the United States Military essentially declaring war on immigrants and saying that the "immigrant infestation must be stopped for the good of the country"... isn't that pretty much the same thing? If you agree with what the president is saying and feel it's your patriotic duty to "fight the immigrant invasion," then no mental illness is required... just hate.

In any event, I want to be perfectly clear that I categorically do no believe that all persons battling mental illness or who are dealing with mental problems are prone to violence. That would, in fact, be absurd levels of hypocritical of me. Shallow armchair analysis aside, implying this might be the case was not my intent, and what I said about eliminating the stigma of mental illness and being more proactive when it comes to mental health in this country still stands.

Sometimes when laying out your opinions, mistakes can be made. And while I'll never apologize for having an opinion, I'm definitely sorry about being guilty of unclear, incomplete, or plain wrong statements I make when stating my opinion.

I may be one of the smartest humans on the planet, but I'm still human, after all.

   

*Apparently Palpatine is going to play a part of the new Star Wars film: The Rise of Skywalker. Assumably in flashbacks since the guy is like... dead... and everything. Or maybe he comes back as a Force Ghost like Obi-Wan? Can Sith Lords do Force Ghosts? I guess we will have to wait and see.

Comments

  1. Regarding Palpatine. Dead yes and likely a force ghost. *But* there’s the Darth Plagueis legend of cheating death. So it will be interesting to see which way they go in the film

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